If you’re here about the movie, you can still pretend you forgot something outside and turn around. Or you can stay and sing along.
La-la-las, ooh-aaahs and other woh-oh-ohs are amazing.
They let me sing along despite my total lack of memory for lyrics and vocal rhythm. They let songwriters that don’t have the best words get away with it. In live show, they turn the spotlight for a few seconds towards keyboardists and other triangle players. They work really well in stadiums and with high-alcohol levels. And they look totally silly on text transcripts of TV shows using them as soundtracks.
According to Wikipedia (in an article that manages to mention Scatman John twice), the technical term is “Non-lexical vocables”. It doesn’t have a nice ring to it, so we’ll stick to la-la-las.
According to my music library, I really like la-la-las. So I just made a playlist of some of my favorite ones:
The New Pornographers — The Bleeding Heart Show
Hey La, Hey La
Loney, Dear — Ignorant Boy, Beautiful Girl
Ma Na Na Na Na
The Rural Alberta Advantage — Frank, AB
Wooh Oooh Oooh Ooooooooh
The Shins — Australia
La La La La
Austra — Lose It
The Hold Steady — Stay Positive
Stay Positive. Woh Oh Oh Oh.
If you don’t scream this one out loud while driving, you might want to check your pulse.
The New Pornographers — Unguided
In this episode of Song Exploder, Carl Newman explained that he is very explicit about his non-lexical vocables. The second half of this song might be his thesaurus.
Le Loup — Le Loup (Fear Not)
Word of the day: [Glossolalia] (a word I was taught by this amazing song, that did not fit the mood of the playlist)
Fleet Foxes — Mykonos
Is sing-alongible a word?
I’m From Barcelona — Violins
How do they come up with this stuff?
The Rakes — Open Book
Ooh Ooh Ooh.
The Libertines — What Katie Did
Shoop shoop, shoop de-lang-a-lang
(This one earns its place in the song transcript).
Blur — For Tomorrow
La La Las and Brit Pop were a perfect match.
Yo La Tengo — You Can Have It All
Po Pom Pom Pom.
(This is also a very convenient device against my lack of inspiration)
Simon & Garfunkel — Mrs. Robinson
You didn’t think you were going to escape this one?
The Beatles — Hey Jude
Or this one?
Cut Copy — Out There on the Ice
Solfège would have been funnier this way with stuff like this.
Japandroids — The House That Heaven Built
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
(“Where everything evil disappears and dies” would make a great subtitle for this playlist)
Arcade Fire — Rebellion (Lies)
Fact: This is even better with 10,000 people singing.